A Cambridge initiative is set to help a new tranche of DeepTech startups across the so-called ‘Valley of Death’ so they make it safely from seed funding to Series A – and beyond.

Deeptech Labs is to unveil a December cohort of five businesses for its Accelerator programme and the quintet will be moulded into attractive propositions for keen-eyed investors.

The long-term aim is to help UK startups and the entrepreneurs driving them close the gap on US equivalents who are tending to gain more cash and credibility.

Deeptech Labs was founded in 2020 by Arm, the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Martlet Capital and serial entrepreneur Ewan Kirk.

Twice a year, Deeptech Labs invests in European startups from the sector to help catalyse their business and connect founders with a global network of more than 50 world-leading DeepTech entrepreneurs, technology experts and C-suite advisors.

The VC accelerator’s rigorous five-stage selection process analyses data on almost 2,000 European pre-Series A DeepTech companies before inviting the top 0.2 per cent to join its specially-crafted 13-week accelerator programme.

According to TechNation and Dealroom data, European DeepTech investment quadrupled between 2016 and 2020 with the UK seeing the fastest growth in DeepTech funding between 2019 and 2020. Yet funding for European companies in the segment still lags behind the US ($33 billion compared to $144bn).

Deeptech Labs’ mission is to catalyse early-stage DeepTech companies with sector-specific expertise so they’re more investable and connect them to a global network of specialists investors. To date, Deeptech Labs co-invested with 62 angel investors and VC funds.

Miles Kirby, CEO of Deeptech Labs says:

“We’re pioneering a new accelerator model to catalyse DeepTech startups, but we’re also pioneering a new methodology to identify those with the greatest potential.”

“Investor interest in our cohorts is at an all-time high, demonstrating our growing reputation for selecting for DeepTech alpha – and the sector’s comparative strength right now.”

The Autumn cohort will comprise five companies that are tackling some of the world’s most pressing global challenges. They will be unveiled at the end of the programme in December at Deeptech Labs’ demo day.

Kirby added: “The period between seed and Series A can make or break DeepTech companies. Deeptech Labs’ has a pivotal role to play, giving our cohort companies access to a world-class network of DeepTech expertise and a global network of investors.

“When you fast-track DeepTech companies you accelerate solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges such as food security, sustainable transport, smarter infrastructure, faster chips for AI and improved patient outcomes.”

Previous cohort companies closing rounds after participating in Deeptech Labs’ accelerator have included:

  • Anaphite (raised £4.1 million), which incorporates graphene into battery materials, to enable super-fast charging, long-range EVs.
  • Salience Labs (£9.4m) which is developing a hybrid photonic chip for ultra-fast AI.
  • Condense (£3.7m) which is building the infrastructure to live stream events into the metaverse.
  • Mindtech Global (£6.6m) whose platform enables companies to create synthetic data at scale to train visual AI systems.